February purple: alert on Alzheimer’s, lupus and fibromyalgia

Lupus , fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s are 3 diseases that don’t seem to have much in common. However, they come together from two factors: they have no cure and this is the February Purple theme.

Understand more about the campaign and the diseases it seeks to combat in the following text!


What is February Purple?

The Purple February, like the Pink October and the Blue November, is an awareness campaign about diseases and the importance of making the correct diagnosis and treatment.

The campaign is focused on raising awareness about 3 incurable diseases: Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s.

But why 3 diseases that apparently have nothing in common?

Because they are all conditions for which medicine still has no cure, but early diagnosis helps to maintain the quality of life of patients.

The awareness month, then, aims to bring information about the diseases, symptoms and treatments available.

Understand a little more about each one:

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes loss of cognitive ability, memory and dementia due to the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in the brain of its carrier.

It especially affects the elderly and can often be confused with normal symptoms of age, being considered, for this reason, a disease that is difficult to diagnose.

Alzheimer’s disease evolves slowly and gradually, affecting more and more brain regions and causing more damage to the patient’s life, which, in the final stages, may need assistance to perform basic functions, such as bathing.

Like the other diseases fought in February Purple, Alzheimer’s still has no cure and the understanding of how it affects the body, despite the advances of recent years, remains little.

It is one of the fastest growing diseases in diagnostics in the world. A study by Johns Hopkins University points out that, by 2050, more than 100 million people will have Alzheimer’s.


Fibromyalgia is a rheumatological disease that affects about 3% of the Brazilian population, mostly women. The main feature is a chronic and generalized muscle pain accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue , changes in sleep, memory and mood.

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia has no cure and medicine still doesn’t quite understand how the disease operates within the human body.

It is known that, without treatment, it can progress to physical disability and functional limitation, complications with a great impact on the patient’s quality of life.

Still, with the proper treatment, which involves both the use of medications and the practice of therapies, such as physiotherapy and acupuncture, it is possible that the patient has a great improvement in the quality of life and can live normally.


The scientific name is “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” (SLE) and is considered an autoimmune inflammatory disease that can affect various organs and tissues in the body, such as the skin, joints, kidneys and brain.

It is considered an autoimmune disease because it occurs when the immune system attacks healthy body tissues by mistake.

In more severe cases, especially if not treated properly, lupus can kill.

It is not yet clear what causes and what causes the immune system to attack healthy body tissues. However, studies in the medical and scientific literature indicate that autoimmune diseases can happen due to a combination of hormonal, infectious factors. , genetic and environmental.

Usually, a person discovers that he has lupus after having a seizure triggered by any of these triggers:

  • Exposure to sunlight inappropriately and at inappropriate times;
  • Infections, which can start lupus or cause the disease to relapse;
  • The use of some antibiotics, medicines used to control seizures and high blood pressure.

Motto: “If there is no cure, at least there is comfort”

The motto of Fevereiro Roxo has everything to do with the diseases you want to raise awareness of. None of the 3 (Alzheimer’s Disease, Lupus and Fibromyalgia) has a cure.

However, the fact that a disease cannot be cured does not mean that the patient cannot have quality of life.

This is exactly the hook of the campaign. Pay more attention to well-being, maintaining a healthy routine, sharing information and showing that treatment should be seen as a necessary change in the patient’s life.

How did it come about?

February Roxo appeared in 2014, in the city of Uberlândia, in Minas Gerais.

There is no official awareness calendar, but the work is usually done by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and, often, supported by city halls and state governments, which promote lectures, information actions and even health efforts.

An interesting fact is that, in addition to being purple, February is also orange, as another campaign, seeking to alert the population about leukemia , also occurs in the second month of the year.

As both campaigns are important, instead of choosing one or the other, many places make February Purple and Orange.

February orange: a warning about leukemia

February Orange is a campaign focused on raising awareness about leukemia and the importance of registering as a bone marrow donor.

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow. There are several types of the disease, which grow fast or slow, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, frequent infections and easy bleeding.

Treatment varies widely from person to person, with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplantation and stem cell transplantation being required in some cases.

How important is February Purple?

Lupus, fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s disease, the 3 diseases mentioned in February Purple, although incredibly different from each other, do not have a cure. Thus, the ideal is that they are identified in the initial stages, so that the symptoms are controlled and / or delayed.

For this reason, more than anything else, February Roxo is a campaign that seeks to encourage early diagnosis, so that, in this way, patients have a better quality of life even if they have to live with any of these conditions.

What makes the campaign even more important is the fact that, in the 3 diseases, the initial symptoms are not as evident or offensive, which makes the patient take even longer to get the diagnosis.

In fibromyalgia, for example, fatigue and sleep-related problems are usually attributed to normal everyday stress , even when the patient seeks a doctor, which delays the diagnosis.

Read more: Blood test may indicate Alzheimer’s risk 16 years earlier

In the case of Alzheimer’s, the situation is similar, as mental confusion and memory loss can be attributed to advancing age and going unnoticed.

Signals and symptons

It is necessary to know the initial symptoms of diseases well to ensure an early diagnosis. Check out:

Alzheimer’s disease

In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, there are several signs and symptoms that may indicate that the disease has already installed itself in the patient’s body. Check out the main ones:

  • Forgetting wholly or parts of an event;
  • Lose the ability to follow verbal or written directions;
  • Lose the ability to follow the story of a soap opera or film;
  • To progressively forget information that you previously knew, such as historical data;
  • Losing the ability to wash, dress or eat on their own;
  • Lose the ability to make decisions;
  • Lose the ability to manage one’s budget;
  • Not knowing what date or season it is at;
  • Having trouble maintaining a conversation, not maintaining a line of reasoning;
  • Forgetting words constantly;
  • Forgetting the place where you kept an object and not being able to do the mental process to remember where you left it;
  • Forget recent facts, like what you had for lunch or what you had for breakfast.


Fibromyalgia can be confused with normal stress caused on a daily basis, however, it is possible to identify the symptoms. Are they:

  • Constant pain throughout the body;
  • Intense pain on touch;
  • Frequent tiredness;
  • Sleep disorders;
  • Muscular stiffness;
  • Memory and concentration problems.


Lupus can affect various tissues in the body, causing symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue;
  • Fever;
  • Joint pain;
  • Muscle stiffness and swelling;
  • Redness on the face over the cheeks and the tip of the nose;
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen when exposed to the sun;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Chest pain when taking a deep breath;
  • Sensitivity to sunlight;
  • Headache;
  • Mental confusion;
  • Memory loss;
  • Loss of hair;
  • Mouth sores;
  • Anxiety;
  • General discomfort;
  • Discomfort.

How to prevent

Unfortunately, there are no known ways to prevent fibromyalgia and lupus.

However, modern science speculates on several risk factors regarding Alzheimer’s disease, which allows us to come up with some prevention tips for this disease.

But what is known about the 3 is that having healthy lifestyle habits and taking care of the body and mind are the best options. Therefore, the ideal is:

  • Maintain a healthy diet;
  • Practice aerobic exercises;
  • Do not smoke;
  • Do exercises that stimulate cognition, such as crosswords;
  • Take care of emotional health;
  • Do pleasurable activities;
  • Do routine checkups.

Read more: Physical exercise can prevent Alzheimer’s and improve memory

February Purple is an awareness month for fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease and lupus. Share this text with your friends to alert them to these diseases!